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pail but by then the hem of my dress is soaked with wet and my feet

are tingling from the cold. The sun has risen behind the cottage so

all I can see is a black silhouette. Once inside, it takes a minute for

my eyes to adjust.

Mrs Rosenheim is making


. It is not as good as



Don’t touch!


would say, slappingmy prying hands. My fingertips

are tainted red from the thick tomato sauce. I lick them clean, one

by one, standing by the door. Jacob called by last night,



with a smile, but you were already asleep. He is a good boy. I blush

but say nothing. Steady now. I help bring the pot to the table.



His boots are on the stairs,

thud, thunk, thud, thunk

. His eyes are tired

and he is dressed in his uniform, the coat creased from wear and

the pants loose at his knees. He peers through the curtain and

whispers something to Imah but she does not seem to have heard.

She turns away.

Are you hungry? Mrs Rosenheim asks. Yes, please. We eat alone.

Where is Mr Rosenheim? He has gone into the village. Mrs

Rosenheim does not look at me as she says this. Winter is coming,

I say, looking out the window. Mrs Rosenheim nods. Yes, she says.

It is coming.

I laugh as I race down the alley, Jacob close behind me. I stop and

swirl around. You’re quick, I say. Jacob puts his hands on his knees

and tries to catch his breath. But you’re quicker.

We walk to the café, our arms brushing. The gravel crunches

beneath our feet like an old man’s cough. Jacob’s cheeks are pink

from the running and his curls are getting longer, framing his face. A

column of uniforms marches towards us and Jacob puts his arm

around my waist, pulling me closer. Our steps drift to the edge of the



A man at the front of the column calls. We halt. The

old man has died. He coughs no more.

Guten tag

. Jacob’s smile is weak

and the man studies him closely.

Seig heil!

Jacob’s hand is tight on my

waist and somehow I know this means to keep my head lowered.

After a moment the old man is resurrected with his cough as the

column marches further down the street. Jacob waits and then lets

out a heavy sigh. He does not let go of my waist. We should go home,

he says.

By mid-afternoon it has begun to snow, blanketing the cottage

and its field with cold. White crystals dance in the air outside,

glinting like broken glass, shopfront shattered on the streets as


Seig Heil 2